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After earning the headline of “This Is What Happens When Rappers Start Admitting Their [sic] Gay?” from WorldStarHipHop (which was followed by plenty of delightful comments) last year in response to his “Wut” video, Le1f is back with his new Fly Zone mixtape.
Belting out fast-paced raps and eccentric electronic beats, Le1f shows no signs of his spirits being crushed from his criticism (most of which was probably due to the public starting to realize that gay musicians actually do exist, as Le1f’s video was released around the same time as Frank Ocean came out).
This new mixtape definitely continues on the same path as his last outing, but seems much more cohesive and well produced— the vocal mixing on Fly Zone is definitely an improvement over Dark York.
On “Airbending” (taken from the cartoon, Avatar: The Last Airbender), Le1f tosses out a dig towards his haters, “stop worrying about how gay I am, or how gay I’m not,” as he’s said in many interviews. He argues that his sexuality does not define his music.
Otherwise, he keeps it fun with lyrics relating to nerdy pop-culture topics such as Dragon Ball Z, X-Men, and Pokemon (not surprising at all, considering his “Wut” video contained him sitting on the lap of an oiled-up man wearing a Pikachu mask).
The fact that Le1f uses his deep voice and fast tongue to rap about themes like these, rather than violence and prostitutes, makes him that much more likeable. Not letting his lightheartedness define him, he also throws out plenty of raps about gettin’ money, smoking kush, and cyber sex. Sprinkled throughout the album are quotable one-liner gems like, “I’ll read you backwards like the Qur’an” and “I’m a black belt with that twerk kwon do.”
Stepping aside completely from producing, Le1f enlists lesser-known internet acts such as LOLGurlz and Shy Guy for his beats. His features are on-point, including a minute-long one from Spank Rock, a feisty rap from 16-year old Haleek Maul, and a beautifully silly set of verses from Kitty Pryde, whose internet hatred rivals Le1f’s own.
Le1f still seems to be struggling to find exactly what type of music he wants to make, as the mixtape does travel back and forth between hard-hitting dance beats to more mellowed out, witch house infusions. Despite this, he definitely proves that he’s not going to be scared off anytime soon.
Stream his single, “Coins” here: